More kids and their families now have quicker and easier access to the right mental health services in Peel Region.
In 2011-12, a total of $2.5 million in funding was provided to Peel Region for children’s mental health services.
The announcement from the Ontario government comes alongside Children’s Mental Health Week, May 7-13, which aims to decrease the stigma that young people experience and to increase awareness of mental health.
“Our government is building a mental health system that delivers the services our children and youth need, when they need it, and as close to home as possible,” said Dr Eric Hoskins, Minister of Children and Youth Services.
“This year, during Children’s Mental Health Week, let’s celebrate the progress we’ve made together with all our partners and let’s renew our commitment to improving the lives of kids and their families with mental health needs,” Dr Hoskins said.
Ontario launched its Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy in June 2011, to deliver more high quality and timely services and supports for kids and families, and to build awareness and support around mental health issues by reducing stigma and discrimination, identifying problems and intervening early.
One year later, more young people are getting the help they need in their community, noted an official release.
“Families in Peel are benefiting from our government’s Mental Health and Addictions Strategy with more access to the services they need, when and where they need them,” added Amrit Mangat, MPP for Mississauga-Brampton South.
New services and supports for kids in Peel Region include:
• 32 new mental health workers at four mental health agencies — Associated Youth Services of Peel, Peel Children’s Centre, Rapport Youth and Family Services and Nexus Youth Services
• 16 new mental health workers helping to provide more timely services for students of the Peel District School Board and the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
• Working Together for Kids’ Mental Health, a program that helps establish partnerships among schools, health professionals and mental health agencies to help kids get identified sooner and provided with the right services faster.
Other initiatives being rolled out across Ontario include:
• 144 nurses working in schools to support early identification and intervention of students with potential mental health and/or addiction issues
• Expanded eating disorders services for severely ill children and youth
• New resources and supports for educators to better support students with mental health needs by September
• New Aboriginal mental health workers to work in high-needs Aboriginal communities to provide kids with culturally-appropriate services, beginning this
• Expanded telepsychiatry (video counselling) services for kids in remote, rural and underserviced communities to provide more kids with consultations with child psychiatrists, beginning this fall.
Official data show one in five Ontario children and youth has a mental health challenge, and 70 per cent of mental health challenges begin in childhood or adolescence.
In total, over 50,000 kids and their families are expected to benefit from Ontario’s Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy, which includes investments totalling $257 million over the next few years.